'Home' for New Year
Having thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas holiday out and about it was time to head 'home' for a party! Having a home mooring makes life a little easier for working liveaboards in winter as it means that you don't need to be constantly moving to comply with Canal and River Trust licence terms. Although we do enough cruising around during most of the year to comply (not staying more than two weeks in any one place), during the winter it makes life easier to have a base with carparking close by and good access. While I don't mind a walk down the towpath with my laden shopping trolley, I'd rather not have to lug it down a dark, muddy one in the rain too often! Anyway, back to the party. We had a short cruise to get home so we checked the weather, chose the best day and cast off.
The beating heart of narrowboat Mervyn
Another Mr Blue Sky day
Just untie your home and go
The sharp right turn here is the place where the canal line was changed, initially meant to be a branch to Leigh the plans were changed and it became the main line. The short arm directly ahead was intended to be the canal junction but the original route was never completed. A boatyard and dry dock was in use there up to 1943
Peaceful tree lined cut, the railway line runs alongside to the left
CRT contractors doing some winter maintenance, he was a nice young lad who I had a chat with at the swing bridge in Appley Bridge just further on ahead
Bare tree reflections
Thud, thud, thud
Approaching Appley Deep Lock
Catching the winter rays by the lock beam
In she goes
On the home stretch
Always time for a biscuit and a brew
Taking the opportunity to do some washing while we travel prior to filling the water tank again- its all about forward planning!
Balancing on the gunwales
Quick wash down while we fill with water
Definitely no shortage of water at the moment
Mervyn looking every inch of her 62' outside the old lock keepers cottage
Past and present transport networks crossing at Gathurst Deans Lock
Stone steps worn smooth
Spick and span
Kettle's always on
Into the final lock of the day
Windlass at the ready
Leaky lock gates
Never miss the opportunity to collect wood for the fire!
Another couple for next winter's stash
Back before dark
Time for some jackbit
Oh, the party? Well it was a great one in the pub surrounded by the friends we have made here over the last couple of years, boaters and locals and of course the lovely landlord and landlady who are sadly leaving the pub trade at the end on January. They have always made us feel really part of the community here and we will really miss them. It was a brilliant night with a quiz and a bit of singing and dabcing as the night wore on (we went to bed at 5am!) and Mr F even got to pull his own pint behind the bar! Things change though, you get used to that when you live on the canals. And that's not always a bad thing.
Make mine a pint!